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Photography and Blogging 101 – #Day12 – Talents and Memories

Day Twelve: Increase Your Commenting Confidence

Today’s task: read six posts written in response to the same prompt, and leave comments on at least two of them.

The two blogs I really engaged with contained topic I could relate to on a really personal level.

Comment 1: A number of Things.


I totally have the same problem. I can never quite focus on anything. It’s so fun to be able to dabble in stuff. I’m a great believer in just doing something that you enjoy and enables you to jump between all of those things.

What I tend to do is swap between 5 or 6 projects for a year. This stops me getting bored and by the end of the year I’m getting to a point of being to be able to say I’m actually quiet proficient at some of them.
So glad to know I’m not the only one though!

Comment 2: Running with Reality

The Hopelessly Voiceless Starlet

Personally, I love to sing and jokes are made that my voice will break windows. I am in awe that they were able to be in a play of Les Mis – it is one of my favourite musicals. Watching it live a few years ago in Southampton was such a fantastic experience. But the singing is such an essential part of the whole production and plot.

Day Twelve: Architecture & Monochrome

Today’s Tip: As we explored yesterday, color is a powerful element in photography. But let’s not forget black and white, or monochrome, which can be very dramatic! Black, white, gray, and shades in between interact in the frame in dynamic ways.

In some very excellent news, my friend (who I am planning on doing the 10K with) actually managed to drag me out for a jog. They’ve added in some of those exercise machines. Thankfully she did exercise science at uni and so could show me how to use them without hurting myself. As a result, I had a lovely jog – and actually managed to keep up with her without killing myself! So definitely starting to feel like this change in lifestyle is paying off.

I took my little point and shoot camera out with me for the jog – a panasonic lumix. So all the pictures today are on that.

Today’s picture was of the old gas works near to where I grew up in Branksome, Poole. This gas structure is now no longer used and was bombed during the second world war. I think it’s kept in memory now of those who died. There is no board or anything there, but I remember a remembrance service at church when I was young.

For me, this structure is a familiar sight that I’ve always been slightly in awe of.

Pic 1 P1020589

This is a close up:

Pic 2 Pic one pla

What do you guys think? Personally, I love the way the monochrome reinvents the lines.

Blogging · Blogging 101 · photo101 · photography · Photography 101

Photography and Blogging 101 – #Day11 – Prompts & Pictures

Day Eleven: Make a Prompt Personal

Today’s assignment: publish a post based on your own, personalized take on a blogging prompt.

Why do this?

  • Learning to interpret prompts is an invaluable skill for when writers’ block hits.
  • The best way to become a better blogger is to blog — and prompts force you to do that.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Practice Makes Perfect?.”

This prompt is to write about a skill you want to have but don’t at the moment.

A skill I would love to be able is computer programming. What keeps renewing my interest is the discussion in Artificial Intelligence. I listened to another today on BBC Radio 4 (Artificial Intelligence) about whether we should be scared of the possible implications of creating human intelligence.

This is why I would love to learn how to program. Not that I think I could be good enough to actually program AI, but I would love to have a better ability to understand it. Some of the theory behind it I bet is really fascinating. I feel like a kid who’s been denied a sweetie jar.

I haven’t really got very far at the moment. But I have been writing about my experience of setting up my Raspberry Pi and some very basic programming. I’ll move it over, but for now, check out my progress on my Blogger page here. Once I’m all moved, I hope to have it set up permanently in the spare room (which is to become my den). Then I hope to make some serious progress with the programming ideally. But there is so much else I want to do this year, that I’m not sure home much I’ll actually get done.

Day Eleven: A Pop of Color

Today’s Tip: As you train your eye to look for color, keep it simple:

  • Choose one bold colour against a neutral background, instead of several colors competing for attention in a scene.

There wasn’t a lot of places I could go for pictures at 9pm at night. However, while I was out watering plants I did spot this very yummy, ripe, looking strawberry. Which was very yummy and very also looks fantastic.


Blogging 101 · Flowers · photo101 · photography

Photography & Blogging 101 – #Day10

Day Ten: Build a Better Blogroll

Today’s assignment: create a blogroll to share a few links you love.

I’ve added a ‘Blogs I follow’ widget to the sidebar on the blog 🙂 Seriously, go and have a little look. There has been some really amazing bloggers around.

All these tasks to have a look at other bloggers has been great. I’m really in the habit of looking through my reader read. It’s so exciting to find all the great hints and tips on there.

This will continue to grow as I continue to blog. So don’t forget to keep an eye out.

Day Ten: Mystery & Lighting Effects

Today’s Tip: To stretch yourself, manipulate the light available to you to create a particular effect — use it to cast shadows and highlights to create a moody image. Work with natural light, or find an artificial light source like the stage lights above.

The direction of light has a big impact on your photos. Things lit from the front have few shadows, and are evenly lit. When the light comes from the side, shadows and highlights are introduced, creating more texture and complexity. Lighting from behind throws things into sharp relief, silhouetting your subject.

Not sure where to start?

  • Take your photo during the “Golden Hour”: the time just after sunrise or before sunset when natural light is soft and takes on color tones of its own.
  • Illuminate your subject with a flashlight or candle.
  • Take a street shot, using car headlights or street lamps to light your scene.
  • Try a photo during the day when the bulk of the sun is hidden, revealing patches or bursting rays of light.

Working with light is, at heart, what photography is all about.

This task reminded me of some pictures I took for work about a year ago. I was so pleased with the final result and I still think it’s some of my best work. Personally, I love the effect on the walls.


While I was sat at a dining table putting this together, I caught notice of an orchid flower on the window sill. It’s about 8pm in the evening and the evening light was catching the petals beautifully. To be fair, Orchid are one of my favourite flowers. So it doesn’t take much for one to catch my attention. Definitely thinking an orchid will be the perfect addition to the dining table – once I eventually decide which one I want!

I took a close up of the singular flower and did a group shot. I love the way the light adds definition to the flower. The colours were almost intensified in the evening light.

orchid 2 orchid

What are your thoughts? Do you prefer the singular flower or the group shot?

Blogging 101 · Craft Inspiration · My WIP Projects · photo101 · photography

Photography and Blogging 101 – #Day9 Re-inspired Quilt & Sparkly things

Day Nine: Get Inspired By the Neighbors

Today’s assignment: write a post that builds on one of the comments you left yesterday. Don’t forget to link to the other blog!

I read some fantastic and very inspiring blogs yesterday (check them out in yesturday’s post here). Currently, I am mid way through sewing a patchwork quilt using a cross inspired patchwork idea. It’s been languishing for a while – put aside in favour of knitting and house hunting. But finding this blog from SEWKATIEDID helped make me feel inspired about my project again. Just have a look through her blog if you are struggling for patchwork inspiration.

For me, my inspiration came from something I originally found on Pinterest (where else?).

Follow Kirsty’s board Quilt inspiration on Pinterest.

This really got me thinking about a year ago that I really wanted to have a go at making a quilt. I’d never made one before and before now it had felt like to big of a huge project to climb. It is my first major sewing project.

If you want to give it a go as a first project, I would highly recommend it. But I cannot stress enough how important planning your pattern is before you start sewing. Because of how the crosses go together you cannot just guess. I had to unpick the whole thing (about a 1/5th of the way through) when I realised the crosses weren’t matching up. Planning also allows you to separate out any colours that would other wise clash.

Also, don’t plan on this project if you need something quickly. It takes a long time – but it is a labour of love.

This is how it’s currently looking (about 18 months after starting):

Cross Quilt WIP - 18 months in
Cross Quilt WIP – 18 months in

Each square is about 13cm x 13cm and I’ve been sewing it together by hand square by square. It has been taking a long time. But it’s worth it – as it’s a lot easier to unpick. Once I have finished the side, I will go over the seems with my mini sewing machine (one I learn out how to thread it….). This should just strengthen the joins and prevent them un-threading. I hope… One can but experiment 🙂

As this progresses I will, of course, update you on here.

Our of interest, have you ever had a go at any sort of patchwork?

Day Nine: Warmth & the Quality of Light

Today’s Tip: If you’d like to experiment more, consider the direction and quality of light. First, let’s talk about front light and side light.

There wasn’t really a task today – or at least I couldn’t find one. But the light direction is something I’ve been playing with for a project for work. I was tasked with photographing the most beautiful jewellery.

We had a product photography tent set up with a 100W lamp on each side of it. That wasn’t quite enough so we rigged up some small cool white LED spot lights to get some forward lights. It was the first time photographing products in a tent – so a huge learning curve.

This is one of the original images with one of the basic programs on the camera.

Taken With Flash.
Taken With Flash.

Deciding that this was still a bit dark – especially when photographing other coloured bracelets we added in frontal LED light which pointed back at the bracelets. In addition to this I also started experimenting with shutter speed and aperture – something totally new to me. But really fun to do.

Crystal Monkeys Bracelet [NEED TO ADD IN DETAILS]
Crystal Monkeys Bracelet. Using a shutter speed and aperture alteration (although I’m not sure what as I can’t work out how to find out the details on a mac)
These pictures were being used for the listing for EBAY, so I also had a chance to play with the editing software I use (GIMP). Some of the pictures were looking very dark on the computer. But the details were really crisp – so a bit of lightness and contrast worked wonder. My skills are pretty basic, but I’m picking new things up all the time. What do you think of the final edited version below?

The final edit of the BECHARMED bracelet
The final edit of the BECHARMED bracelet

If you want to see the rest of the edited pictures check out the ebay shop here. I’m really proud of the work I’ve done for this project this week. It has been a lot of fun and I have learnt a lot as well. Glad to have an opportunity to share it with you 🙂

Blogging 101 · photo101 · photography

Photo and Blogging 101 – #Day8 Making Friends and Photography Inspiration

Day Eight: Be a Good Neighbor

Today’s assignment: leave comments on at least four blogs that you’ve never commented on before.

This is pretty exciting. Off to go and explore some new blogging content. I will share here what awesome stuff I can find…..

Blog one – AnotherWiseMonkey

This is great timing for me to see this blog. I have just started training for a 10K. There are some really great tips in here.

Blog two – Sew Katie Did

I’m currently mid way through a patchwork quilt, so this quilting craft blog really caught my attention. Some of the most amazing designs I have seen. Definitely come away from it feeling really inspired.

Blog three – M&J Blog

On this blog I have found the cutest DIY tutorial for a wire silk headband. Definitely looking forward to giving that a go. Loving the feeling of inspiration this blog leave me with.

Blog four: House of Nicnax

I spotted this blog because of the super cute owl doll blanket make. Fantastic choice of fabric. It’s pretty new, but the content looks like it could be really interesting!

Day Eight: Natural World & Leading Lines

Today’s Tip: Exploring the outdoors, with camera in hand, is an opportunity to look for natural lines that lead our eyes to different parts of a frame. Envision the bend of a stream, or the curve of a petal: how can you use these lines in your composition? If you see strong vertical, horizontal, or diagonal lines, can you play with the orientation to create a more dynamic composition? Can you apply — or break — the “Rule of Thirds“?

I wasn’t entirely sure how to tackle this task. Reading it just before bed last night did mean I had overnight to think about it. I spent the drive into work looking out for interesting groups of trees etc.

However, inspiration struck on the short walk into work this morning. I actually double back to get this shot. These flowers were looking so vibrant in the morning sun – and their straight, thick stems fitted the criteria perfectly.

I’ve taken the picture both in portrait and in landscape. Not sure which I like best to be honest. Would love to hear some feedback 🙂

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Blogging 101 · photo101

Photography & Blogging 101 – #Day7 Inspiration and Uninspired

Day Seven: Keep Personalizing

Picking a theme you love is the first step. Next, make that theme your own; start with the basics, like a header and/or background. (Lots of you have already begun this — keep it up.) If you’re happy with your header and background, try your hand at a widget.

Today’s assignment: create and upload a simple header, background, or both. Already done? Try a widget.

Not wanting to just put a photograph as my header, I thought I would put something a bit more personal as the header. I got a stroke of inspiration after work and sketched this out on a piece of paper.

The hope is that this will really help picture to my lovely readers (aka you) what the blog is about. It saves you time – I hope 🙂


Day Seven: Big & Point of View

Today, let’s go big. Whether inside or outside, photograph something of massive size. Feel free to interpret big in your own way, and get creative with your shot. Capture all or just part of the subject. Place it in the foreground so it takes up the entire frame. Or shoot it from afar so it appears smaller — yet still prominent.

Today’s Tip: Once you’ve chosen your subject, move around to experiment with your POV, or point of view. Earlier in this course, you’ve moved forward and backward, and perhaps climbed to a higher level to capture your images. Today, crouch or lie on the ground to get an interesting angle — which is great for capturing skyscrapers — or walk around your subject, if you can, to examine every possible perspective.

This has taken me a couple of days scratching my head and feeling confused. Haven’t had a lot of time so I had to find some thing that fitting around the house. Apart from the house, the largest thing in the house is the stairs. So here’s my attempt.

If nothing else, it’s great experience if I ever fancy moonlighting as a photographer for an estate agents! I’ve seen some awful pictures during my house hunting fun.

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Blogging 101 · photo101 · photography · Photography 101

Photography and Blogging 101 – Day 6 – About me page and Togetherness

Day Six: Make an Irresistible “About” Page

So this is today’s task. Basically, I get a bit of an easy ride with this one – as I’ve already put together an about me page that I am pretty happy with. This is something I will come back to in a few months when it needs an update.

There is quite a lot of exciting stuff going on in my life outside of WordPress at the moment. But, again, I can’t say anything exact yet for risk of jinxing it!

Day Six: Connect & Tags

I took this picture during my morning run. I’ve dug out an old, small, point and shoot panasonic camera. It’s ideal for when I’m out walking/jogging as it’s really light and doesn’t get in the way.

The theme for today is connection. I loved this scene and I couldn’t resist a quick snap as I jogged past. This scene also seemed to fit well into the days theme as each boat is connected to the jetty. In addition, the boats also connect the owners to new places on their travels.

Connecting boats to the jetty. These boats then connect the owners to new place.
Connecting boats to the jetty. These boats then connect the owners to new place.